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The Passion of Chelsea Manning: The Story Behind the Wikileaks Whistleblower

The gripping story of Private Chelsea Manning, the soldier who is alleged to have leaked nearly half a million classified documents

Chelsea Manning was arrested, imprisoned in solitary confinement for nine months, and court-martialed for leaking nearly half a million classified government documents, including the infamous “Collateral Murder” gunsight video. She was an intelligence analyst in the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division, is twenty-four, and comes from Crescent, Oklahoma.

But who is Private First Class Chelsea Manning? Why did she commit the largest security breach in American history—and why was it so easy? In this book, the astonishing leaks attributed to Chelsea Manning are viewed from many angles, from Tunisia to Guantánamo Bay, from Foggy Bottom to Baghdad to small-town Oklahoma. Around the world, the eloquent act of one young woman obliges citizens to ask themselves if they have the right to know what their government is doing.


  • “As this fine and important study reports, Chelsea Manning holds to the principle that ‘it’s important the public should know what its government is doing.’ Release of the Wikileaks documents has been a courageous and important service to this cause.”
  • “Time after time, patriotic whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning are fired, shunned, or prosecuted, despite their heroic efforts to protect the public from a secretive government’s illegal activities. It’s time to do what we can to protect these brave souls, and reading Chase Madar’s fine book is an excellent start.”
  • “Chase Madar has written a powerful, compelling and moving defense of Chelsea Manning. Bravo!”
  • “The mistreatment, trial, and fate of Private Chelsea Manning will undoubtedly read like an obituary on the Obama years. Her case is a crucial one, and Chase Madar turned his sharp eye on it early. This is the single must-read book on the case.”
  • The Passion of Chelsea Manning reminds us that it was James Madison himself who wrote that a popular government without popular information is but a prelude to tragedy or farce. Author and lawyer Chase Madar tells a great story that raises critical questions about the appropriate balance of government secrecy and national security in a modern democracy.”
  • “... A call to us to act not only in defense of Manning, but in defense of our futures.”


  • Chelsea Manning is released today

    Chelsea Manning, source of the biggest classified leak in US history, is being released from Fort Leavenworth military prison on May 17, her thirty-five-year sentence commuted by President Obama in one of his last acts of office.

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  • A Hacktivist Reading List: Aaron Swartz's recommended reading

    Aaron Swartz (1986–2013) was an American computer programmer, a writer, a political organizer, and an Internet hacktivist, devoted to a free and open internet. He was involved in the development of RSS, Creative Commons, web.py, and Reddit. When he tried to 'liberate' data from an academic website, US authorities responded fiercely. He faced a fine of up to $1m and 35 years in jail. In 2013, he tragically took his own life. 

    The Boy Who Could Change the World is a newly-published collection of his writings; the life’s work of one of the most original minds of our time. In tribute to Swartz, this book is available to download for FREE—for one day only! We’ve also included other ebooks such as Inventing the Future, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, and The Wikileaks Files.

    Aaron Swartz read widely, posting annual lists of the books he enjoyed (and didn’t). Taken from The Boy Who Could Change the World, we bring you a hacktivist reading list – books that Swartz posted about from 2006-2011, presented here in his own words. 

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  • "How to make Isis fall on its own sword": Chelsea Manning op-ed featured in The Guardian

    To what extent should the US disrupt the growth of ISIS? And should it be on the offense or defense? Wikileaks Whistleblower Chelsea Manning was an all-source analyst in Iraq during the beginnings of the brutal extremist group and writes in the Guardian:

    Attacking Isis directly, by air strikes or special operations forces, is a very tempting option available to policymakers, with immediate (but not always good) results. Unfortunately, when the west fights fire with fire, we feed into a cycle of outrage, recruitment, organizing and even more fighting that goes back decades. This is exactly what happened in Iraq during the height of a civil war in 2006 and 2007, and it can only be expected to occur again.

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